The American Antitrust Institute has announced its selection of leading practioners and economists to be recognized as honorees for the 2017 Antitrust Enforcement Awards. Lieff Cabraser’s team shared the AAI’s award for Outstanding Private Practice Antitrust Achievement, and partner Lin Chan won the Institute’s prestigious solo award for Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement by a Young Lawyer.
Attorneys from Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, along with co-counsel from Zwerling Schachter & Zwerling, and the Joseph Saveri Law Firm, won the award for “Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice” for their extraordinary work on the Cipro price-fixing and exclusionary drug-pricing agreements case. The award is limited to private civil actions, and nominees are judged on the benefit realized by the client, consumers or class, as well as the positive development of antitrust policy relating to the case.
Representing California consumers in a class action antitrust suit, the litigation claimed that Bayer Corporation, Barr Laboratories, and other generic prescription drug manufacturers conspired to restrain competition in the sale of Bayer’s blockbuster antibiotic drug Ciprofloxacin, sold as Cipro.
Between the years 1997 and 2003, Bayer paid its would-be generic drug competitors nearly $400 million to refrain from selling more affordable versions of Cipro to consumers. Consequently, they were forced to pay inflated prices for the medication that was frequently prescribed to treat urinary tract, prostate, abdominal and other infections.
“For a long time,” explained Lieff Cabraser partner Eric Fastiff, “these payoffs were not considered illegal because they were consistent in the scope of the patent as long as the patent was valid. This California case showed such conduct is illegal and was illegal. We considered the $398.1 million payoff not to compete a bribe.”
The Court granted final approval of the total settlements on April 21, 2017, adding that it was “not aware of any case” that “has taken roughly 17 years,” where, net of fees, end-payor “claimants will get basically 100 cents on the dollar[.]” Learn more about the Cipro litigation at www.ciprosettlement.com/.
The Lieff Cabraser team that worked on the Cipro case included: Eric B. Fastiff as co-lead class counsel, Richard M. Heimann, Brendan P. Glackin, Dean M. Harvey, Lin Y. Chan, David Rudolph, Wilson M. Dunlavey, and Yaman A. Salahi.
Special Recognition to Lin Chan for Outstanding Achievement by a Young Lawyer
Lin Chan separately won the AAI’s award for “Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement by a Young Lawyer” for her work in the case. Ms. Chan had been recognized earlier in 2017 by Law360 as one of five Rising Stars nationwide in competition law.
AAI award honorees will be featured at a gala awards dinner on Tuesday, November 7 at the National Press Club in Washington DC, following AAI’s 11th Annual Private Antitrust Enforcement Conference.